A New Musical 
Written and Composed by Erin Kamler
Directed by Professor Ted Braun
Friday, February 1st, 2013 at 7:30pm,
School of Cinematic Arts Building, SCA #108


TO RSVP: Please email

Survive is a new musical by Erin Kamler about the trafficking of women in Thailand, as seen through the eyes of sex workers, grassroots activists, NGO employees and other members of the anti-trafficking movement. based on field research including over 50 interviews, Survive presents a critical look at how the story about trafficking is told, and shows that finding a solution to this problem is even more complicated than it seems.

The story focuses on the aftermath of a brothel raid in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand.  Lipoh, a young Kachin (ethnic minority) migrant from Burma, seems to be underage, making her an automatic “trafficking victim” in the eyes of the law. Emma Gable, an NGO case worker from Cedar Falls, Indiana is sent to prepare Lipoh to be a witness in a trial to prosecute her trafficker. Emma must convince Lipoh to be the person everyone sees: a trafficking victim. But Lipoh is unwilling to cooperate. She insists that she is eighteen, and was working in the brothel willingly. Not only that—she wants to go back.

What transpires is a journey into Thailand’s anti-trafficking movement—a world burdened with politics, morality and the rhetoric of human rights. Through hearing Lipoh’s story, Emma discovers that grave atrocities are being committed against the Kachin people of Burma. But these atrocities are overshadowed by a narrative about trafficking that serves the needs of the anti-trafficking movement, rather than the women it is trying to help.

For more information about Survive please visit Erin Kamler's website using this link.


Erin Kamler (Writer, Composer) is a Los Angeles based composer, musician and playwright and PhD student at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism who writes musicals exploring the intersection of feminist politics and culture. Her recent projects include Divorce! The Musical, which won the 2010 Los Angeles Ovation Award for Best Book, Music and Lyrics and Backstage Garland Awards for Best Playwriting and Best Original Score, and Runway Sixty-Nine, which won New Dramatists' prestigious 2008 Frederick Loewe Award.

Director Ted Braun's  critically acclaimed feature film debut, DARFUR NOW, won the NAACP Image Award for best documentary of 2007, was chosen one of 2007’s top five documentaries by the National Board of Review, and earned him the International Documentary Association's Emerging Filmmaker of the Year award. Warner Brothers distributed Darfur Now worldwide and financed along with Participant Media, which spearheaded a global social action campaign. In 2008 Movie Maker Magazine named Braun, along with Errol Morris, Oliver Stone, and Michael Moore one of 25 filmmakers whose work has changed the world. Braun is currently developing a feature adaptation of ALL THE SHAH’S MEN, Stephen Kinzer’s best selling account of the 1953 CIA coup that installed the Shah of Iran in power. An Associate Professor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, Braun is recipient of the University’s prestigious Phi Kappa Phi faculty recognition award and the founding president of the board of Cinema for Peace Foundation USA.

This performance has been sponsored in part by: